Meeting between SRCIC and TOBB Leaders
13 Dec 2019


On December 7, 2019, Chairman of the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC) Mr. Lu Jianzhong met with the delegation of Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), led by its board member Mr. Mahmut Özgener.


Chairman Lu welcomed the delegation on behalf of SRCIC and its Honorary Chairman Jemal Inaishvili. He thanked the president of TOBB Mr. Rifat Hisarciklioglu for sending a delegation to the 2019 Silk Road Business Summit.


Chairman Lu said that on December 6th, SRCIC held its 9th Executive Board and General Assembly meetings. A new leadership team of Chairmanship and Executive Board has been elected. Mr. Rifat Hisarciklioglu was re-elected to be Honorary Chairman of SRCIC as leader of the very influential business organization of TOBB.


"We thank him for the support in the past four years since SRCIC's establishment, and hope to bring the cooperation between our two chambers closer. Turkey is a very important country along the Silk Road, bridging Europe and Asia, and was cradle of three great empires - the Ottoman Empire, Roman Empire, and Byzantine Empire. Turkey is not only a beautiful country, but also rich in history and culture." Chairman Lu said.


Chairman Lu also gave a brief introduction to a project in planning. "China will build the largest Free Trade Port in Hainan Province, signifying the boldest measure of China's reform and opening up. SRCIC will actively participate in this course by building a cultural park to accommodate museums from China and other Belt and Road countries, holding cultural festivals and organizing expositions for trading cultural products and artworks. We hope that TOBB could recommend museums from Turkey to join the project, and display your splendid history and culture. We believe this would be instrumental in increasing the people-to-people understanding among different countries, a great complement to governmental activities, such as Bo'ao Forum. "


Mr. Mahmut Özgener thanked Chairman Lu for meeting the delegation. He welcomed Chairman Lu's remarks and proposals on behalf of TOBB and as President of Izmir Chamber of Commerce. "There is much more space for Turkish-China cooperation. Although Belt and Road Initiative is largely about infrastructure construction, we also look forward to strengthening our cooperation in various fields, including trade, energy, automobile, manufacturing, 5G, science and technology, etc. For instance, we are currently working with the public departments of Turkey to make customs procedures more modern and easier for businesses. We aim to expand our efforts to other Silk Road countries, and the best country to start with is China."


He added that tourism and cultural communication are also vital areas with great potential. Turkey hosts a great number of tourists from worldwide every year, and there are many Turkish cities which are ideal destinations for vacation. He mentioned that by the end of December, there will be a direct flight between Xi'an and Istanbul carried by Turkish Airlines. On the side of cultural communication, there is a university in Izmir that enrolls Chinese students and offers Chinese courses to local students.  


Chairman Lu responded warmly to Mr. Özgener's remarks, and said that the young generation are the future ambassadors for friendship between the two countries, and it is important for our generation to lay a good foundation for cultural exchange and economic and trade cooperation. He also noted that SRCIC will bring Chinese business delegations to Turkey to investigate investment and cooperation opportunities.


Mr. Özgener expressed his welcome to the delegations, and emphasized that TOBB is ready to work with SRCIC on various fronts.


After the meeting, Chairman Lu and Mr. Özgener exchanged symbolic gifts.


Other participants in the meeting are Emre Kizilgüneşler, Vice President of IZMIR Chamber of Commerce, H. Yaşar Beyaz, Head of Foreign Economic Relations Department, TOBB, and Pınar Karayilanoğlu, Manager of IZMIR Chamber of Commerce; Jemal Inaishvili, Honorary Chairman of SRCIC, and Wenjin Wei, Director of Membership Center of SRCIC.